For many of us (managers, consultants, employees) who are curious of “design thinking,” this Forrester report contains a surprising and important message.
The report deals with IBM that went through a major transition. Once, design thinking was an exception in the company. Now it has become the standard, a quality measure that employees expect. As a result designers at IBM become involved in projects far earlier. And because they are in their field the champions they operate with far more credibility, than before.
Getting involved early has advantages. This early access gives designers the opportunity to influence the course of a project before it is established, rather than dealing with a poorly defined statement of worklousy with no references to the user or customer because of the lack of designer input. Do not forget that politics and the power game starts before the kickoff and that many projects still go through a form-storm-norm-perform-phase. Designers need to embark at the form-storm-norm phase.
Design thinking has many benefits. By informing non designers about the approach resistance can be transformed to true enthousiasm. Often this results in an improved customer experience and in the end an improved business value.
The case of IBM
IBM has been a pioneer in their design led transformation. They have invested in 42 IBM Studios across the world and trained over 100,000 in really great design education programs and the results are starting to pay off their huge investment.
I’m confident that every client or every designer everywhere is trying to move faster, save money, and reduce risk — whether at a global enterprise, a digital start-up, or a local non-profit.
The Forrester Total Economic Impact Report of Design Thinking at IBM proves without question that design, designers, and the collaborative, human-centered practice of design thinking can drive substantial business value when applied in a scaled and programmatic way.
As stated in the Forrester TEI report, “no doubt that design thinking has made our applications more intuitive.”